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Russia

 The Singer sewing company building Saint Petersburg  1904

We arrived in Saint Petersburg half way through the White Nights festival, which runs from June to mid July. Sharing the same latitude as the Cities of Oslo, Helsinki and the State of Alaska, St Petersburg turns to  twilight between 11 00 pm – 3 30 am, never getting dark, hence the “White Nights”. It’s a very European feeling city and on the surface a tolerant place, growing in confidence; and lot’s of very bad parking as there seem to be no restrictions. High end European cars are everywhere, driven around the city at frightening speed, only intrepid babushka’s daring to step out.

I was last here in 1993 and it was very different then with it’s faded grandeur, Lada’s on the roads,”not the fridge kind” and one spectrum of lightbulb for everything and no neon or advertising.

We found plenty of good places to eat, vegetarian too and the coffee there was superb along with the local honey cake. Read More

Australia

Australia isn’t just a place you see it’s a place you FEEL!

We arrived in Sydney December 22nd 2016 (Summer Solstice), stopping briefly in Singapore; which was  bathed in late evening sunshine as thunderstorms rumbled to a close. Stepping outside the air-con of Singapore airport, I had my first experience of tropical air and it was breathtaking, instantly clinging to my skin.

It’s very exciting arriving somewhere new and as our BA 777 pierced the low grey clouds on approach to Sydney, the descent offered brief glimpses of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge and promises to come. The flight tracker gizmo registered a temp of 22C at the airport, perfect climatise to after leaving a chilly Northern Hemisphere (Winter Solstice)

 

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The Cotswolds in August

farmstead burford1000

I’ve just spent the last week of August in The Cotswolds, with a family celebrating their parents 5oth wedding anniversary. They had their honeymoon in Burford, known as the gateway to the Cotswolds. Situated across 6 Counties but mainly Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire in Central Southern England. A gentle geography of rolling hills and meadows dotted with yellow limestone buildings and many meandering rivers, like the windrush flowing through Burford, are just a few of it’s delights. The source of the river Thames begins in The Cotswolds, with Seven Springs and Thames Head both claiming the title.

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Halton House Buckinghamshire

I had the good fortune last week, of a guided tour of Halton House at RAF Halton. The house was built in 1880  for Alfred Charles Rothschild in the French Chateau style and completed  in 1883. It rests on the edge of the Chiltern Hills, overlooking the Vale of Aylesbury.

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Regency Town House – Artist in Residence

The Regency Town House

I have been lucky enough to spend a few days over the last few weeks as ‘artist in residence’ at the Regency Town House in Brunswick Square, Brighton.

The Regency Town House is a grade I Listed terraced home of the mid-1820s being developed as a heritage centre and museum to focus on the architecture and social history of Brighton & Hove between the 1780s and 1840s. Read More